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4:22 pm - Posted by Gregg

Did you hear the one about the plus-sized burlesque dancer who not only knows that she’s “fat” but also that she’s beautiful? Lillian Bustle recently gave a powerful TEDxJerseyCity talk, during which she admitted to being a wife, someone who’s fat and — most important — someone who’s beautiful. Says Ms. Bustle, “We as women are programmed to tell each other that we’re not fat because to many people — both men and women — fat is the worst thing that you can be. I’m five foot three, so I call myself short. I’m married, so I call myself a wife. I weigh 240 pounds, so I call myself fat. And I am beautiful, so I call myself beautiful. And I’m all of those things at once.”

I applaud Ms. Bustle’s attitude and spirit. Self-worth and self-love are two of the main mental ingredients necessary to create positive change (including getting to a healthier weight — no matter what you define that number on the scale to be). I have stated in a recent post that if we actually love and care for ourselves — even as we are now in this very moment (no matter how many pounds overweight or no matter how far away from any kind of goal) — we become more likely to encounter faster success.

Think about it… If you know a good friend or family member that’s facing a challenge, you want to help them out. But if it’s someone you have distaste for, you don’t really care if they succeed in their quest or not. Well, time for you to think of yourself in a more affectionate way and afford yourself the very same degree of care that Ms. Bustle affords herself.

You can watch Ms. Bustle’s TEDxJerseyCity talk below, courtesy of YouTube and also click to Mic.com for more on her body positive message.

Photos Source: Mic.com

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2:58 pm - Posted by Gregg

I know I’m normally blogging (blathering on?) about food and nutrition. But can we just take a moment, pre 4th of July weekend, to acknowledge that summer’s finally here? Of course, this  can be a great time to get outdoors to add even more physical activity to your day. Not only will being outdoors add to your bottom line (or lack thereof) when it comes to your healthy life outlook, but it will also allow you to soak up some healthy Vitamin D in its natural form from the sun.

But whatever your outdoor activity, make sure you remember the sunscreen. The FDA recommends that we apply SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 at the very least. But that rule doesn’t apply to everyone. My personal dermatologist says we should be wearing an SPF level of 30 to 40 even for daily activities. Thus, you’re encouraged to take your own “sun history” into account.

If you rarely burn and tan easily, SPF 15 is might be right for you. But if you are very pale (like moi), have numerous freckles and/or red hair, then you should use a much higher level of SPF. If you’re not sure which level of SPF you should be using, make a quick call to your doctor or dermatologist to get their professional opinion. After all, the skin you save may be your own.

And no matter which level of SPF you’re using, this same rule applies to us all: Reapply the sunblock every 2 hours (moreso if you’re sweating or just getting out of the pool or ocean).

To find out which SPF level is right for you, click here

For more information on the FDA Guidelines regarding SPF levels, click here

Photo Source: WeeklySauce

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3:09 pm - Posted by Gregg

Who cares if summer heat is beating down on most of us? It’s still a great time of year to make my Chunky Turkey Chili recipe (the same one featured in my latest book, Weightless: My Life As A Fat Man And How I Escaped). Recently, I visited my local farmers market, where I purchased fresh spices (see picture, below) to use when making this recipe. And I have to tell you, it turned out great. So visit your farmers market for these ingredients (if you have one nearby) or buy the freshest versions of these ingredients as you can. Then join me in making this fail-safe recipe that’s a winner whether you’re trying to take off excess weight or simply working to maintain the success you’ve already achieved. Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (in order of appearance)
5 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
3 white onions, peeled & chopped
2 (two) 7 oz. cans of diced green chilies (mild or hot – your choice)
3 tbsp. fresh garlic, chopped (can also used jarred, but without added oil)
4 tbsp. chili powder (more if you dare)
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (more if you dare)
2+ lbs. lowfat ground turkey
1 (one) 6 lb., 6 oz. can (or several cans that equal the same) of ready cut diced tomatoes (in their own juice, no added sodium if available)
4 large bell peppers, chopped

Directions
In a large pot (the bigger the better), add the olive oil and chopped onions. Cover and cook over medium heat for several minutes (until the onions begin to soften).

Next, add the garlic, chili powder and cumin. Mix it up and then add both cans (liquid and all) of the diced green chilies to the diced onion. Cook covered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Next, add the ground turkey — making sure to mix all of the meat into the mixture while keeping the turkey from “clumping” together (work to break it up into loose pieces/bits). Continue to cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (and de-clumping the turkey when necessary).

Once the turkey is cooked through, add the canned tomatoes and chopped bell peppers, mix thoroughly, then cover and cook on high heat until the contents reach a boil. As soon as you see that your mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to LOW and cook for about 20 minutes more so all the flavors mix together and blend to perfection.

Makes approximately 18 servings

A Few Helpful Hints
Add a small green salad with carrot shavings and balsamic vinegar along with two to three multigrain crackers to create a complete meal.

After preparing this big batch of chili, I divide it into portion sizes (usually two per storage container) and then, after the containers cool off, stick them in the freezer. After a day or so of thawing (in the fridge) you can zap it in the microwave for a quick, delicious dinner anytime during the week. (You can even store single size portions and take the chili to work for an easy and delicious, microwavable lunch!)

It should be noted that this stuff is so good that you can even serve it to your friends who aren’t on a diet. (Trust me — they’ll never know they’re eating something super healthy.) I’ve even made a big batch of this recipe as a dip for parties and served it with multigrain chips along with sour cream and cheese on the side.

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June 10, 2015

On staying present

12:22 pm - Posted by Gregg

I recently caught a repeat viewing of Oprah Winfrey‘s Super Soul Sunday featuring Ali MacGraw, who at age 75 radiates beauty from the inside out. While I found so many of her life lessons (shared generously and modestly from her heart) resonated with me, I was especially moved by this quote:

“Living In the present and finding what’s good about it is how I want to be alive. I do not want to sit in some rewrite of the past or invent the what’s going to happen story. And it’s a big discipline. I think everything that I do is tryouts by to make that be the way I live and sometimes I actually succeed.”
Ali MacGraw

I especially love how Ms. MacGraw keeps her sense of humor about all of it — and owns every life lesson she’s learned (even the ones learned the “hard way”). I love that Ms. Winfrey and OWN are bringing us these nuggets of wisdom. And I especially love being able to pass along some of these gems to you. After all, we’re all in this journey called “life” together.

To see a clip from the episode, click here.

Do you have any favorite quotes or ideas about staying present and living in the moment? If so, I’d for you to share in the comments section or via the contact page. (Thanks!)

Photo Source: OWN

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May 30, 2015

Portion size savvy

9:13 am - Posted by Gregg

Sure, when preparing meals at home, we can pull out our measuring cups, tablespoons and perhaps even a digital food scale (not that we necessarily do… But we could!). But what about exercising portion control when out at a restaurant or even when traveling? I’ve known some hardcore dieters who carry their measuring tools with them and even pull them out when dining out. But fact is, we’ve already got the best portion size measuring tool attached to us. (Who knew?)

Checking out this handy infographic from Guard Your Health will show you that your hand and fingers can be a great aid when trying to decide how much is just right when it comes to eating outside of your home. Take a minute to study this hand-y (yeah, I went there) graphic and commit it to memory. After all, portion control is key to getting to and maintaining a healthy weight. Sometimes even more so than what we’re actually eating. Arming (or hand-ing) ourselves with simple strategies like these really can make a difference in our winning the battle of the bulge. (Plus, no one we’re dining out with has to know what we’re up to when comparing a teaspoon-portion-size of butter to the tip of our finger!)

Note: You can click on the image for a larger view.

Photo Source: Guard Your Health

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